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Autistic people may lack social motivation, without being any less human

  • Sue Fletcher-Watson (a1) and Catherine J. Crompton (a1)


In arguing that autistic people are socially motivated, Jaswal & Akhtar miss the opportunity to puncture the notion that social motivation is a prerequisite for humanity. Instead, we contend that some autistic people may indeed find social interactions to be unmotivating and that this doesn't have to be seen as a problem.



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Calder, L., Hill, V. & Pellicano, E. (2013) ‘Sometimes I want to play by myself:’ Understanding what friendship means to children with autism in mainstream primary schools. Autism 17(3):296316. Available at:
Faso, D. J., Sasson, N. J. & Pinkham, A. E. (2015) Evaluating posed and evoked facial expressions of emotion from adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45(1):7589.
Neumann, D., Spezio, M. L., Piven, J. & Adolphs, R. (2006) Looking you in the mouth: Abnormal gaze in autism resulting from impaired top-down modulation of visual attention. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 1(3):194202.


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